In a sure sign Cupid is tap, tap, tapping into the text messaging craze, 28% of users report that they use text messaging to flirt.

Remember the candy hearts you used to exchange with your classmates in grade school? Each one had a short saying on the front, such as "URA TIGER," "PUPPY LOVE" and "AWE SOME."

The tradition was started in the 1860s, when Daniel Chase, the brother of NECCO founder Oliver Chase, began printing sayings on papers rolled inside the company’s candies. The present day "Sweethearts," with the sayings on small, pastel-colored hearts, date back to 1902.

In the early 1990’s, NECCO began updating the sayings. The first new greeting, "FAX ME," created a lot of attention among Sweethearts fans. Now each year, in order to "keep the pulse on the heartbeat of the nation," new sayings like "E-MAIL ME" are added.

The results may not be quite as yummy, but the short ‘n’ sweet tradition has been taken up by text messaging.

In fact, according to a survey of US adult cell phone users conducted for ATT’s Cingular Wireless by International Communications Research (ICR), 33% of the respondents said that they have communicated with their date or mate via text messaging in 2007, an increase of 6% over last year.

In a sure sign Cupid is tap, tap, tapping into the text messaging craze, 28% of users report that they use text messaging to flirt.

"Text messaging has become part of the social fabric of dating in America," said Jennifer Bowcock of Cingular. "People can text one another to make plans or even say ‘I love you’ when they may not have the time or ability to make a voice call. It is definitely a discreet and simple way to stay connected."

The survey found that text messages keep lovers, and would-be lovers, connected in a number of ways — and for some surprising reasons:

  • 17% reported that a wireless phone has saved them from an uncomfortable date
  • 12% have used text messaging news as a conversation starter with a date or mate
  • 8% said they have ended a relationship over rude or offensive wireless behavior
  • 5% have called someone else they were interested in from a wireless phone while on a date, and 7% reported that their date had done so
  • 6% have judged a prospective date by the phone they use
Interestingly, the survey found that 59% of active daters use text messaging to communicate with their dates, while only 30% of those who are married do. Hmmm….

Via eMarketer